The idea of a development institution for Latin America was first floated during the earliest efforts to create an inter-American system, at the First Pan-American Conference in 1890. It would take nearly seven decades for the IDB to become a reality, under an initiative proposed by President Juscelino Kubitschek of Brazil.
The Bank was formally created in 1959, when the Organization of American States drafted the Articles of Agreement establishing the Inter-American Development Bank.
Throughout the years, the IDB has added new member countries and it increased its capital nine times. These actions have allowed the IDB to boost support for poverty alleviation and other development programs that have helped transform Latin America and the Caribbean. Although much remains to be done, the region's social indicators have improved significantly in such areas as literacy, nutrition and life expectancy.